Best Poker Rooms to Play Omaha Poker
A long-time favorite in Europe, Omaha Poker has traditionally taken a backseat to Texas Hold’em in North America.
Lately, however, with Hold’em games getting tougher and a natural progression among the poker playing public, Omaha is enjoying a surge in popularity. And rightly so - it's a great game packed with big action and intriguing strategy.
Below find our editors’ picks for the best places to play Omaha Poker of all variations – Hi-Lo, Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better, Pot-Limit Omaha and more. Rooms are ranked on best selection of Omaha games, potential for soft and winnable games, availability of tables and more.
For those of you just learning the game, you can find the information you need to get in the game including Omaha basics, rules for Omaha Hi-Lo, the difference between Pot-Limit Omaha and Hold'em, beginner Omaha advice and the top Omaha starting hands below the top list at the bottom of the page.
Play Omaha Poker Online
But there is one major difference - the number of hole cards. In Texas Hold'em you're only dealt two cards, but in Omaha you get four. This means that you will have more potential hand combinations when you create your best hand using your hole cards and the board cards.
But also remember that you must use two cards from your hole cards to make up your final five-card hand. In Texas Hold'em you can choose to use only one card, or even play the board (using no cards from your hand). This isn't possible in Omaha.
Obviously this makes a hand such as four aces a bad starting hand, even though it might look good. Instead, you’re looking for hands with both immediate value and plenty of drawing potential.
A good example of a hand like this would be Ah Ac 10h Jc. This hand starts with a pair of aces and has multiple ways it can improve to a straight or a flush. In fact ace-ace-ten-jack double suited is the third-best Omaha Hi starting hand possible.
Remember there are only two differences between Hold'em and Omaha:
- Every player is dealt four cards in Omaha (instead of two in Hold'em)
- There are more rules for evaluating the winning hand at showdown.
Why Omaha Online?
There are some significant advantages to playing Omaha online versus playing live. It might seem silly, but physically holding a four-card hand can be a bit unwieldy.
It's difficult to hold four cards up without exposing any to another player and it's awkward to "peek" at four cards by turning up their corners the way one does in Texas Hold'em.
Online, your cards are displayed right in front of you - easy for you to see and impossible for your opponents to see.
In addition, when you begin playing Omaha, you'll want to start at a low limit while you get the hang of the game. In many casinos, only one or two Omaha games are spread and they are typically high-limit games.
Some casinos don't spread regualar Omaha at all even and only offer its split game version, Omaha Hi-Lo. Online, you're much more likely to find the Omaha betting structure and limit you need.
Omaha can be played in either a high or hi-lo version. Omaha Hi-Lo is also called Omaha Hi/Lo, Omaha High-Low and Omaha Eight-or-Better (O8). In this version of the game the pot is split between the best high hand and the best qualified low hand.
To qualify for the low your hand must consist of five cards under eight with no pairs. Since straights and flushes are ignored for the low, the best low hand is A-2-3-4-5.
If there is no qualified low hand, the best high hand wins the whole pot. When several players have the same winning hand, the pot is split between them.
Much more so than in Hold’em, Omaha is a drawing game. The majority of winning Omaha hands are made on the turn and river, rather than the flop.
With all players having four cards instead of two, the quality of winning hands is greatly increased over Hold’em. For this reason you want to be playing “nut hands” almost exclusively. If your flush draw isn’t ace-high, chances are someone else’s is.
When playing Hi-Lo it’s important to understand that your goal is to win the high half of the pot first with a re-draw to have a shot at the low.
It’s common for multiple players to have the same best low hand, in these scenarios you will lose significant money if you’re not taking down the high half of the pot as well. See our dedicated Omaha Hi-Lo page here for all the rules, strategy and best places to play Omaha Hi-Lo online:
Pot-Limit Omaha vs. Texas Hold'em
- More players will consistently see the flop in Omaha. The gap in strength between starting hands is shallow in Omaha, meaning your hand is almost never at a huge disadvantage before the flop. For this reason, almost all Omaha flops are seen by multiple players.
- With more players seeing flops, the average pre-flop pot size is typically much larger than in Hold'em. The bigger the pot going to the flop, the bigger the bets will be post-flop, making Omaha a more expensive game at the same limits as Hold’em: it plays bigger.
- You need a stronger hand to win at Omaha. The majority of Hold'em pots are won by a two pair or weaker hand. These types of hands do not hold up as often in Omaha, meaning there is a paramount need for made hands with redraws.
- Omaha is a more hand-driven game, affording you far fewer opportunities for bluffing. If there are three to a suit on board, you can almost always assume someone has the flush.
- With the game being so draw heavy, it’s important to understand the situations where you have a clear statistic advantage in the hand. When you are in such a situation, you need to be making strong bets to extract the maximum amount of value possible.
Key Advice for Pot-Limit Omaha
- Be very selective with your starting hands. It's easy to get overzealous looking down at four cards, seeing all of the possible combinations of draws.
- Beware of danglers! Hands such as Ah Kh Qc 2h should mostly always be folded. The 2h doesn’t help the hand in any way, in fact it removes on flush out from the hand. A dangler like this turns your 4-card hand into a 3-card hand, putting you at a huge disadvantage.
- Spot the Hold’em players. It’s common to find players at Omaha tables playing as if they were playing Hold’em. Notice these players and understand that they will greatly over value the quality of hands such as top pair, or two pair.
- Respect displays of strength. If someone is betting strongly in Omaha, it’s most likely because they have a strong hand.
- Don’t think of your open-ended straight draws as the nuts in Omaha. There are many situations in the game where a player will have 20+ outs.
- Omaha is a nut game; it's almost never a good idea to be playing any draw that's not to the nut in this game.
Omaha Starting Hands
Below are the Top 20 starting hands in Pot-Limit Omaha.
NOTE: All hands below must be double-suited.
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